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dc.contributor.authorWaters, John Michaelen_US
dc.date.accessioned2015-05-28T08:00:31Z
dc.date.available2015-05-28T08:00:31Z
dc.date.issued2015-05-27en_US
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:5488en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/52706
dc.description.abstractExplanations of why mathematics is useful to empirical research focus on mathematics' role as a representation or model. On platonist accounts, the representational relation is one of structural correspondence between features of the real world and the abstract mathematical structures that represent them. Where real numbers are concerned, however, there is good reason to think the world's correspondence with systems of real number symbols, rather than the real numbers themselves, can be utilized for our representational purposes. One way this can be accomplished is through a paraphrase interpretation of real number symbols where the symbols are taken to refer directly to the things in the world real numbers are supposed to represent. A platonist account of structural correspondence between structures of real numbers and the world can be found in the foundations of measurement where a scale of real numbers is applied to quantities of physical properties like length, mass and velocity. This subject will be employed as a demonstration of how abstract real numbers, traditionally construed as modeling features of the world, are superfluous if their symbols are taken to refer directly to those features.en_US
dc.format.mediumETDen_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsThis Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. Some uses of this Item may be deemed fair and permitted by law even without permission from the rights holder(s), or the rights holder(s) may have licensed the work for use under certain conditions. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights holder(s).en_US
dc.subjectMeasurement theoryen_US
dc.subjectnumber symbolen_US
dc.subjectstructural correspondenceen_US
dc.titleThe Utility of Mathematical Symbolsen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.contributor.departmentPhilosophyen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Artsen_US
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Artsen_US
thesis.degree.levelmastersen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePhilosophyen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairMayo, Deborah G.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberTrogdon, Kelly Griffithen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPatton, Lydia K.en_US


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